Power Broker

Brokering Insurance and Real Estate Advocacy

Robert Morris

When a lender required more endorsements from real estate investment and operating company Madison Capital in order to close a large transaction one snowy Friday, the company with $2.1 billion in 21 New York City assets faced a problem: the underwriters’ offices were closed. That’s when Robert Morris of the Rampart Group, whose friends call him Robby, sprang into action. The insurance broker and president at the full-service insurance company that his grandfather started in 1965 took matters into his own hands and drove his car to the underwriters’ house through a snowstorm to get the necessary endorsements. The transaction closed the following Monday.

Mr. Morris, CLU, LUTCF, a 42-year-old married father of three, connects real estate clients with carriers of all types of insurance. But he also takes to the airwaves and the papers to warn of potential trouble on the horizon for his clients. With concerns about the New York state Scaffold Law, warnings about the Washington maneuverings around the federal Terrorism Risk Insurance Act reauthorization and cautionary words of wisdom on the dangers of hacking, Mr. Morris is touching on issues that affect the entire real estate industry even as the affable Long Island native equips property owners with protections.  Read More

Sales Beat

Manhattan House Retail Sells for $114M

200 East 66th Street.

Munich-based GLL Real Estate Partners has purchased the retail space at Manhattan House on the Upper East Side for $113.5 million, according to property records.

GLL bought the 100,000-square-foot space at the massive condominium at 200 East 66th Street from Madison Capital. JPMorgan Chase & Co was a member of the purchasing group, Crain’s New York Business previously reported. Read More

Sales Beat

Madison Capital’s Purchase of 606 Bway Slated to Close by Year’s End

Rendering of 606 Broadway

Madison Capital is expected to close on its purchase of 606 Broadway by the end of the year, Commercial Observer has learned, after going into contract nearly a year ago.

Madison Capital paid $25.825 million for the Soho property as well as $13 million for an alternative parking facility for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which leases 606 Broadway from the city under a master lease. Read More

UWS Loehmann’s Getting Primo Attention


Madison Capital, which acquired all of the real estate assets of bankrupt department store Loehmann’s, is primarily focused on the discounted designer goods retailer’s Upper West Side store, company founder Richard Wagman said. Mr. Wagman talked about Loehmann’s while on a retail panel at Massey Knakal Realty Services‘ Commercial Real Estate Investment Summit yesterday. Read More

Sales Beat

Cohen Commercial Properties Acquires Bronx Retail Property for $11.425M


Cohen Commercial Properties has acquired a 12,212-square-foot, two-tenant, retail property at 1800 Williamsbridge Road in the Bronx for $11.425 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

“It is a conservative investment, but it’s in an area that currently and in the longer term is going to appreciate in value,” Andrew Cohen, chief executive officer at CCP, said of the acquisition. Read More

Lease Beat

TD Ameritrade Lease at 100 Broadway Fills Void Left During Darker Days


TD Ameritrade has signed a 10-year, 9,509-square-foot lease for the ground floor and lower level at 100 Broadway, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The corner retail space in the 24-story office building features more than 170 feet of frontage along Broadway and Pine Streets.

“It’s a great corner space in the heart of the Financial District and steps from Wall Street, which lends itself well to a prominent financial institution like TD Ameritrade,” said Cushman & Wakefield’s Gene Spiegelman, who represented the landlord Madison Capital with Michael O’Neill. Read More

Sales Beat

Madison Capital and Institutional Owner Pay $80 M for Five Properties Across the Boroughs With Citibank Retail

181 Montague Street, Brooklyn Heights

A joint venture between Madison Capital and an institutional owner has purchased a portfolio of five Citibank retail bank branches across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx for $80.55 million.

A team from Newmark Grubb Knight Frank led by Kenneth Zakin arranged the sale and is exclusively marketing seller FGP West Street’s New York portfolio of 18 Citibank-leased properties purchased from Citibank in 2007.

“We are thrilled to complete the sale of this core group of properties, which consisted of the most valuable assets in the entire portfolio,” said Mr. Zakin, who brokered the transaction with Randall Liberman and Hymie Dweck, adding that Madison Capital solidified the deal following a competitive bidding process.  “Madison Capital stepped up and submitted an aggressive bid for the five-property portfolio.” Read More

Lease Beat

EXCLUSIVE: Walgreens Takes Former Borders Space in $2 Million Deal

Walgreens II

An over 20,000 square foot retail space at 100 Broadway formerly occupied by the bookselling chain Borders has found a new taker.

Walgreens has reached a deal to lease the space for about $2 million in annual rent according to sources with knowledge of the transaction. The drug store giant will either operate its own store in the location or use the space for a Duane Reade, the New York City based pharmacy that the company purchased last year for $1.1 billion. Read More